‘Africa must harness burgeoning youth population’

Mahama Ouedraogo

Mahama Ouedraogo

Mahama Ouedraogo, African Union (AU) Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology Department, on Monday called for concerted efforts in harnessing the continent’s burgeoning youth population as a positive imputes toward development.


“Youth development is fundamental if Africa is to achieve its mission of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena,” Ouedraogo told a meeting.


Ouedraogo made the call during the AU’s Specialised Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sports.


The five-day meeting, underway from Oct. 21 to 25, mainly aims to provide opportunities for AU member states to discuss issues pertaining to the development of the youth, culture and sport sectors at national, regional and continental levels as well as establish synergies among the three sectors, according to the AU.


“The time to harness African youth as partners, assets and as a prerequisite in the fight against corruption for the sustainable development of the African continent is now,” he said.


Investment in youth is a major priority area of the AU’s “seven aspirations” as indicated in its flagship 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.


Aspiration six of Agenda 2016 advocates for “an Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children.”


“Young people are Africa’s main assets for today and the future,” Ouedraogo said.


“The African Union and its member states need to collaborate, invest and build on the richness and potential that young people represent for the continent in terms of skills, creativity and diversity,” he said.  -Xinhua


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